Saturday, April 14, 2012

Lest We Forget...

I went with family and friends today to commemorate the tragedy of 100 years ago, yes in dress costume, and yes we had a most delightful time.  BUT, not without remembering the lives lost years ago in an  event that most certainly can be compared to September 11.....I learned today that Margaret Brown, oftenly referred to (not with her permisson) as the "Unsinkable Molly Brown" held a tea one year after the sinking of the Titanic, to memorialize the lives lost...I have to say that the presentation today was a wonderfully sharp reminder that Margaret would have been proud to witness.  I was so very moved by three minutes of speech from a sharply researched woman, I was brought to tears.  Humbling, moving, remembering, and I am still thinking of the people lost and their families.  I hadn't expected all this.  On the way to the tea, I was thinking about the people in our country who were being slammed today  by  tornadoes, or preparing for such, and sending up thoughts for them.
I will not forget.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

100 Years Later...

Newspaper headlines from just a few days after the Titanic Disaster...such a tragic husband never ceases to amaze me with what he pulls out of the archives....

It's only been 6 months since I last was here, and lost my lovely wall paper.  One of these days I will figure out how to get Minima background back and restore that...

I've just finished constructing a cream puff of a dress for a pending local Titanic Tea Event sponsored by The Great Basin Costume Society....I am pretty excited, I LOVE costume events!  Old friends, making new friends, I think it will be a lovely time...SO!  Here we have a skirt and bodice made from the remains of an antique cotton and lace coverlet I picked up in Astoria some time ago.  Soft and buttery, somewhat lumpy looking on my antique dress form , it's comfortable and very tea-like... I've just got to set a few more hooks, find my gloves and I'm all set.  I made a panel at the bottom of the skirt out of silk velvet in the most marvelous green, with a matching silk charmeuse sash, from new fabric acquired from Michelle Mahler of  I also used yards of silk satin ribbon in a darker shade of olive green on top of the three tiers of antique lace, that I purchased from Michelle.  The velvet is so incredibly vivid, but there was absolutely no way I was going to tea stain such gorgeousness....

Lined with a lemony silk noil I had in the stash, it helps to bring some more color to the soft faded cotton.
Fastest thing I've whipped up in a long time, but I've got other projects in the wings to get to.  No, it's not seriously accurate, but the silhouette is fairly close, shhhh, don't call the costume nazi's. 

I think I will wear a hat I made with silk roses, to echo the roses in the dress and the beaded purse as well.  Silly, I know, but kind of romantic, yes?  I put some vintage green flowers and a ridiculous old green feather to bring the green charmeuse and velvet color up above.
Does the green spray remind you of any particular Dr. Seuss character?
I may wear my antique Irish crochet coat as well.  Why ever not?
I just wanted to share some of these newspaper clippings, so very very sad....

Seriously, how often does an (ahem) older lady like me, get to dress up in tiers of antique lace, velvet and silk, to flounce around, take tea with family and friends, whilst looking much like the lemon crumpet on the top tier of the cake plate??  Not often enough, I say.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Almost Three Months?!

GOSH!  Though it's been an extremely productive time, too long, too long!!  First there were a couple of antique shows, then a trunk show, a huge craft faire, assisting my parents with a remodel and move...yada yada.  SO!  I'm back for now and wanted to share what I did with the last two weeks when I wasn't wearing my moving, painting and cleaning hats.

My dress design and construction hat!

We were invited recently, to attend a period event towards the end of this month.  Used to be I could just pull out some ensemble from my antique clothing collection, but I've put on too much weight to fit into much of it.  Yes, up and down with the pounds, so I started looking around my fabric stash to pull something together for moi!  I have designed and sewn for years, used to have a full time costume rental business, but have never taken the time to make something for  myself.  Because time was a huge consideration, I didn't have the luxury of  over-agonizing about it. 
Here are a few pictures, if you're interested in doing something similar, I have explained it at the end of this post.  I just finished a sassy little fascinator that didn't get photographed.  Perhaps I will have an event picture or two to share on a later date....
Alll the fabrics are crispy silks, the red is a color change to a greenish gold.   I used antique laces, trims and buttons.

I lost my desire to sew after costuming a play, when I had to construct ten WWI mens British military uniforms, and had about 2-3 weeks.  I pulled several all nighters getting that done and the thought of olive drab still makes me queasy.  I've done some accessory items and light boho reconstruct things, but this was the first fairly intense piece in quite some time.  I wanted a basic 1880's silhouette, and I have a small bustle to wear under the skirt to lift the poufs just a bit.  And a corset, bleh.

What I did, if you're interested...For the bodice I used McCalls 6097, but lost the ren style lower sleeve and added my own layers of fabrics and lace, and the ruffles around the neckline.  I like the longer bodice style, it's really smooth and forgiving.  I flat lined and didn't bone because of the corsetry.

For the skirt I used Simplicity 2851, attaching the apron to the skirt at the waistband.The bustle poufs and train are one piece, attaching at the back of the waist band.  Both patterns are costume designs and I am never satisfied with the finish work per their instructions, electing to french seam, or bind my seams.  As I was taught, your work should be just as beautiful on the inside as out, and I don't serge, ever.  Fiddly-ass machines drive me nuts.

So there you have it, I am back to jewelry making as of tomorrow, having some earring requests to catch up on and will be taking my artfire studio off hiatus status as soon as I can get a few things listed. 

Oh, I almost forgot to mention, my jewelry can be found locally at The Genoa Trading Company, and in Anchorage Alaska at the divine Ozarks Americana.  I am so pleased and proud to be in both these lovely spots!

Thanks for stopping back soon!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

In the Blink of an Eye

July is essentially gone, another month...POOF! I've done two shows back to back weekends, and Ron just finished yet another.  Sparing you the details, we have a very very busy house.  Very.  I don't have many pictures to share this time, but am wanting to tell you that I've consigned a significant quantity of inventory at The Genoa Trading Company!  That arrangement is going swimmingly well.  I try to make things, or progress toward  that every day, it's what I do, and happily, a number of things have sold before even having the opportunity to photograph them.

My garden is a pathetic mess this year, but there aren't too many around here to be very envious of.  The weather has been unstable and just plain stoopid. Oh! Something I learned this month. One space after a sentence..?  Huh?  I can't seem to break the habit of two and wonder when that happened anyway.

A few pics and at some point I will update the ArtFire Studio. Talking to amazing SIL recently and I told him that we were so very busy, and that I always seem to be that way, and at least I am never bored.

He said that he was never bored either, and thought that it might be fun.

I do apologize for the brevity, and will try to get back soon!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Studio Update

Here we go, another month breezing by.  I have piles of inventory and will be updating my ArtFire studio momentarily, but wanted to take just a moment and share pictures of a little of what I've been doing..Many of my pieces will be going to consignment, so if something catches your eye, contact me quick.   I am really pleased to be working with Christine and will update with links and pics on my next post.  Meanwhile, here we go!.
Edwardian enamel reconstructed earrings...

Edelweiss enamel flowers, little sterling bells...

Vintage jacks and antique glass beads.

Bracelets, bracelets, and more bracelets...

 Nouveau brass heart, NOT a reproduction....and an amazing brass cross with a pocket knife.   Ironic.

I don't often keep my own pieces, but this hand carved Victorian bone castle necklace is calling to me...and I've pondered it's construction for months...we'll see...
Love and blessings to anyone kind an patient enough to stop here....

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Palette Pondering and What Happened to May?

I haven't been here in quite some time and it makes me a little twitchy!  I like to blog, I like to read others...and I've missed this very much.  So!  Cowboy Poetry was a success for me, a very respectable quantity of my work went riding off into the sunset, I had a birthday back then and it was made so lovely and special by my best peeps, and then the rest of the month...well, I wouldn't go back there for all the coffee in Costa Rica.  Major creepiness with a rental property (not ours, but in the family) but I think we're d.u.n.  Pretty much.  Being kept away from the studio makes it all the sweeter when I finally do get back, and I spent a couple of days catching up on some custom work.  Today I just puttered and pondered and piled palettes.  So this what I have to show you after my stress workout.  Palettes...

Design work happens for me in different ways.  Sometimes I sketch, sometimes I pile things up, but no matter, it's always an evolution process.  These pictures are just beginnings.

Tourmalines, one of my all time favorites.
I found this old celluloid cat brooch and think the grossular garnet and smoky quartz might be the thing with the chalcedony...ponder ponder.
Carnelian, faceted citrines, antique carved bone and a yummy old reverse painted glass brooch....sigh.  I've set a tintype into a cavity on the reverse of the focal.

I am thinking that the matching brooches will soon be earrings, and kyanite drops with antique mother of pearl just has to work in....
I'm pretty anxious to get to work on this one....the focal has an amazing story to tell.

These little "ponder piles"...well....some will be realized and some will have to wait for that perfect little bit that I must locate, or construct...the only thing I know for certain is that it feels really fine to sit here and be still......

I've missed you!